Human Cytomegalovirus Tropism Modulator UL148 Interacts with SEL1L, a Cellular Factor That Governs Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Degradation of the Viral Envelope Glycoprotein gO

Christopher C. Nguyen, Mohammed N. A. Siddiquey, Hongbo Zhang, Gang Li, Jeremy P. Kamil, Richard M. Longnecker
2018 Journal of Virology  
UL148 is a viral endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident glycoprotein that contributes to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) cell tropism. The influence of UL148 on tropism correlates with its potential to promote the expression of glycoprotein O (gO), a viral envelope glycoprotein that participates in a heterotrimeric complex with glycoproteins H and L that is required for infectivity. In an effort to gain insight into the mechanism, we used mass spectrometry to identify proteins that
more » ... from infected cells with UL148. This approach led us to identify an interaction between UL148 and SEL1L, a factor that plays key roles in ER-associated degradation (ERAD). In pulse-chase experiments, gO was less stable in cells infected with UL148-null mutant HCMV than during wild-type infection, suggesting a potential functional relevance for the interaction with SEL1L. To investigate whether UL148 regulates gO abundance by influencing ERAD, small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing of either SEL1L or its partner, Hrd1, was carried out in the context of infection. Knockdown of these ERAD factors strongly enhanced levels of gO but not other viral glycoproteins, and the effect was amplified in the presence of UL148. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of ERAD showed similar results. Silencing of SEL1L during infection also stabilized an interaction of gO with the ER lectin OS-9, which likewise suggests that gO is an ERAD substrate. Taken together, our results identify an intriguing interaction of UL148 with the ERAD machinery and demonstrate that gO behaves as a constitutive ERAD substrate during infection. These findings have implications for understanding the regulation of HCMV cell tropism. IMPORTANCE Viral glycoproteins in large part determine the cell types that an enveloped virus can infect and hence play crucial roles in transmission and pathogenesis. The glycoprotein H/L heterodimer (gH/gL) is part of the conserved membrane fusion machinery that all herpesviruses use to enter cells. In human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), gH/gL participates in alternative complexes in virions, one of which is a trimer of gH/gL with glycoprotein O (gO). Here, we show that gO is constitutively degraded during infection by the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway and that UL148, a viral factor that regulates HCMV cell tropism, interacts with the ERAD machinery and slows gO decay. Since gO is required for cell-free virus to enter new host cells but dispensable for cell-associated spread that resists antibody neutralization, our findings imply that the posttranslational instability of a viral glycoprotein provides a basis for viral mechanisms to modulate tropism and spread.
doi:10.1128/jvi.00688-18 pmid:29997207 fatcat:xxabnbq5svax5pxzhgtix2p5ee